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The GPS contribution to the error budget of surface elevations derived from airborne LIDAR


King, MA, The GPS contribution to the error budget of surface elevations derived from airborne LIDAR, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 47, (3) pp. 874-883. ISSN 0196-2892 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1109/TGRS.2008.2005730


When using airborne LIDAR to produce digital elevation models, the Global Positioning System (GPS) positioning of the LIDAR instrument is often the limiting factor, with accuracies typically quoted as being 1030 cm. However, a comprehensive analysis of the accuracy and precision of GPS positioning of aircraft over large temporal and spatial scales is lacking from the literature. Here, an assessment is made of the likely GPS contribution to the airborne LIDAR measurement error budget by analyzing more than 500 days of continuous GPS data over a range of baseline lengths (3960 km) and elevation differences (4002000 m). Height errors corresponding to the 95th percentile are $$ 0.15 m when using algorithms commonly applied in commercial software over 3-km baselines. These errors increase to 0.25 m at 45 km and $\,$0.5 m at 250 km. At aircraft altitudes, relative heights are shown to be potentially biased by additional errors approaching 0.2 m, partly due to unmodeled tropospheric zenith total delay (ZTD). The application of advanced algorithms, including parameterization of the residual ZTD, gives error budgets that are largely constant despite baseline length and elevation differences. In this case, height errors corresponding to the 95th percentile are $$ 0.22 m out to 960 km, and similar levels are shown for one randomly chosen day over a 2300-km baseline. © 2006 IEEE.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Aircraft navigation; Error analysis; Global Positioning System (GPS); Tropospheric propagation; Air navigation; Aircraft; Budget control; Error analysis; Forestry; Geomorphology; Optical radar; Troposphere; Accuracy and precision; Airborne lidars
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:King, MA (Professor Matt King)
ID Code:82050
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2013-01-16
Last Modified:2013-01-16

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